Long story short, I was diagnosed with ADHD at age 5. Folks, I’m 56. That was 51 years ago NOT when it was popular.
My mom didn’t put me on medication and she didn’t follow up by teaching me coping strategies either. Needless to say, school was a disaster for me.
I was never told about that diagnosis until I was 29 after a roommate made the same diagnosis. Confused, I consulted my mom. That’s when she told me the whole story.
It finally made sense why I nearly failed school. I knew I wasn’t dumb. I simply didn’t care. I was bored. It all contributed to my very troubled teenage years.
At 29, I went to several specialists including those at the University of Utah who happened to be doing the first research in the possibility children may not grow out of ADD and ADHD as once thought. I eventually was tested by several others who were considered the best researchers in the country. I tested out in the top 5% of the most hyperactive women in the country. That’s about the only test I’ve ever aced.
And so, the pursuit for help began.
I ended up taking Dexedrine – speed. For some reason, it calmed me down or sped up my body to match my brain? I don’t know. All I know is it helped me be very focused and highly productive for the first time in my adult life. Since then, I’ve never stopped trying to find a natural way to heal it because I hate the idea of being reliant on a medication that obviously has detrimental effects.
How does this relate to ketamine?
On Tuesday, I headed to a 5 hour physically active volunteer job. I forgot my ADHD medication. “Oops. Oh well. Let’s see if ketamine has made a difference.” I decided.
As the day progressed, I noticed I wasn’t forgetting important things. I wasn’t distracted. I was calm. I was almost too calm. I know myself! I know what it’s like without my medication. This was not my usual experience. By the end of my shift, the only negative effect I could find was that I was hungry! Speed suppresses appetite. This was a monumental experience for me! I decided ketamine must be doing more than I expected! I certainly didn’t expect it to affect my ADHD whatsoever.
I decided I had to understand all the moving parts and this is what I discovered. In part, ketamine inhibits glutamate. Glutamate is a neurotransmitter for the nervous system. I recently read that too much glutamate is linked to many problems including but not limited to ADHD, anxiety and even OCD. Then I found that Adderall inhibits glutamate’s counterbalance GABA. GABA is the calming agent while glutamate is the excitatory transmitter. Starting to get the picture? By continuing my Adderall, I’m forcing the very action that (or one of the things) ketamine is repairing. It’s like a dentist giving free candy to his patients. My only option is to titrate off the Adderall at the same time build my adrenals and supplement with GABA. Ultimately, I could remain on Adderall and find a way to cope but this is by far my greatest hope yet. I’m not ready to call this an ADHD victory yet. I’ve been down this road a few thousand times. My poor doctor wishes I would simply accept my diagnosis. Sorry, not sorry, not my nature. We shall see.
Treatment #5 of 6 is today!
Finally, by my 5th treatment, I think I’ve got this down. Here is what I’ve learned:
- Stop drinking liquids 2 hours prior. But drink a lot in the morning!
- Eat something light 3 hours prior.
- Bring crackers for afterwards for possible nausea.
- Take my own playlist with only soft acoustic sounds. Sorry Piano Guys, you’re a little too revved.
- Bring water for the ride home.
- Wear comfy clothing.
- Don’t worry, everything is going to be alright.
- And YES you must be driven to and from your appointment.
Today’s treatment was different.
It felt shorter in duration. The kaleidoscope was muted. It was dark. Not scary just darker than usual. My head felt cold afterwards. I kept my eyes closed longer to avoid the spinning room. I was more aware of how numb my body was especially certain parts like my lips and feet. I simply had a different type of awareness. I was slightly nauseated less than prior treatments. I was more dizzy than usual. The nurse anesthetist, Krystal, said I went deeper yet had the same dosage. Once again, my response is, “I don’t understand!”
I’m a very self-aware and controlling person. It’s unnerving to be changing and not understand fully what’s happening. The beauty is that at the end of the day, I’m okay with it. I’m happier. I can see a light at the end of this tunnel. Tonight I felt like the old ‘go get em’ Laura minus the panic that I am running out of time. “Hello!” different me….it’s about time!
With ketamine treatments exploding, I’m grateful for a clinic that truly cares about me and is in Weber County where resources are sorely lacking. They are not greedy. They want everyone who needs the treatment to have it. For some, it’s a great sacrifice. It’s not cheap. Yet, these good people will allow payments with no interest. I’m still in awe of their authenticity in caring for people. Medical costs are high. Yet, as I’ve said in the past, I would have mortgaged my home had I known about this when Hannah was alive. I have absolutely zero doubt it would have healed her. That is not a statement you’ve ever heard from me since her death.
Get the facts! Do your own research. Over the last 10 to 15 years, this has a success rate of 80% relief with only 6 treatments! That is simply unheard of in the mental illness industry. Yes, there are valid clinical studies. Do a search for “ketamine clinical trials for depression”. Or visit Therapy Reset’s list of references found at the bottom of the page.
I’ve been talking about the FDA’s possible approval of ketamine for mental illness and the probable timing of that approval. In this case, I wish I was wrong. Unfortunately, it’s playing out exactly as I anticipated. I highly recommend you read this post.
I’ve been on a quest for 5 years to find the answers we didn’t find that could have saved Hannah’s life so that you can be spared from the pain and suffering of losing a child to suicide. I’ve found many beautiful solutions such as the magnificent power of prayer,the Love of my Savior, Functional Neurology in healing concussion,The Work of Byron Katie, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, the power of friendship, the power of group support, the wisdom in authenticity, citizen education, and so much more. I’m grateful for all these tools. They have certainly blessed my life and my family’s life. I hope in some small way, you’ve not only found relief but joy in some of these solutions! It’s not enough to simply trudge through life! We are meant to have JOY!